MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 55-year-old West St. Paul man was arrested Wednesday by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office for his alleged involvement with a large-scale identity theft ring that included credit card fraud, theft and counterfeit checks.

Donald Allen Ellis was taken into custody in connection with the case and charged with felony counts of theft and racketeering. He is currently in the Hennepin County Jail with bail set at $1,000,000.

According to a complaint, Ellis was the man who ran the criminal operation. He told several accomplices to break into vehicles and steal purses. Credit cards were then used to buy merchandise, including gift cards and Ipads. Ellis would steal the identities of the victims and had their names printed on counterfeit checks.

Authorities said there were at least eight victims, and the crimes took place in Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, Dakota, Scott and Carver Counties in Minnesota and in Wisconsin. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by several agencies in its investigation.

*Update: The Hennepin Co. Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate this case.  If you believe you were the victim of Ellis, if you have information about the case, or you believe you were forced to work for him — you are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office.  Please call, 1-888-988-TIPS or you may call 911.

Comments (21)
  1. Brian Daniel Freeman says:

    My new cell mate

    Your butt or mine?

  2. Swamp Rat says:

    Well, crime watch fans, I guess this brigand and associates decided to settle for the “chump” change ID thievery than going into the political dollars thievery some elected officials are getting away with.

    Well, maybe crime does pay. At least he is destined for three square meals and a cot at a local state pen hostelry. Maybe he isn’t dumb after all.

    1. Brett says:

      Why should I continue to work hard and PAY TAXES, when this TOTAL LOSER can do whatever?? Let me guess…..he does not have an honorable discharge from the U.S. Military. Right??

    2. politiciansSUX says:

      You forgot Free healthcare, access to a gym to work out, and no responsibility to do anything.

      1. Swamp Rat says:

        I guess he gets what is called “a freebie no-brainer” for his “unthinkable” crimes! [LOL!] Maybe we should think about us this fact of debt-free living. Looks like crime did pay for him. Think about it!

  3. Dana says:

    For every victim, they should cut off a finger. Maybe then people would stop and think before stealing.

    1. Brett says:

      More like a HAND, or for multiple offenses, YES, an ARM. If so many of you are so squeamish, I would VOLUNTEER my SERVICES, at NO PAY AT ALL.

    2. politiciansSUX says:

      Take off his genitals first, do not allow him to breed and raise others in his ways.

  4. Rube says:

    This POS has been a thief for life. Go to the MN Courts website and do a search for his name….Just more trash is all he is.

  5. Kevin says:


    1. Guy says:

      Kevin sure likes to smell his boyfriend’s a$$.

    2. Stands with arope says:

      No way, another gur?

  6. Chigger .44 Stoppers says:

    anudder cute mudder pucker

  7. do do says:

    He only did it because white ppl owe all blacks $$$$$$ for there hard work 300 years ago…

  8. Bert says:

    With voter ID set to become law, he would have made a fortune selling IDs to Democrat serial voters.

    1. Chigger .44 Stoppers says:


  9. J D FROM ALA says:


    If he got an dishonorable discharge he gets nothing. If he got any kind of honorable discharge and currently draws benefits from the VA, he gets cut to NOTHING if on pension, and .05% for service connection compensation, regardless of preconviction level of payment (disability). Love it. VA also checks with IRS & ssa.

  10. Once upon a time says:

    This lowlife has been taking advantage of naive young girls by getting them hooked on drugs and sending them ‘shopping’ with other people’s money for a very long time. He’ll get them hooked on drugs and threaten to kill them, to make them forge checks for him. I was a victim of his more than 20 years ago. I see that some things never change for some people. I was shocked to see his face, and see that he lives very near my neighborhood. I haven’t thought of him in more than 20 years, and seeing his face after all these years almost made me throw up. Hopefully one day, he will get what he deserves…

    1. WCCO Moderator says:

      The Hennepin Co. Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate this case. If you believe you were the victim of Ellis, if you have information about the case, or you believe you were forced to work for him — you are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office. Please call, 1-888-988-TIPS or you may call 911.

      (WCCO-TV published this information after receiving a request from the Sheriff’s Office.)

  11. Really says:

    He broke into our car two years ago, almost to the day. He was caught 5 minutes later arrested and put in jail. While in jail, Ramsey county car break-in’s were down 66%. There has been a trial set 4 different times on this guy and then cancelled. This last one the judge didn’t want the case. Our criminal justice system is completely unaccountable to anyone. This guy should have been in jail for the last 2 years with 18 years left. Now we read he has been arrested again. This is the 2nd time he has been arrested since the day he broke into our car. If you don’t want this case judge, you really don’t care about justice.